Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) leaves the U.S. Capitol after voting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., February 9, 2022.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited reconciliation package that would invest hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change and advance clean energy programs .
The 725-page piece of legislation, called the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” provides $369 billion in climate and clean energy provisions, the most aggressive climate investment ever undertaken by Congress. The climate bill’s provisions (summarized here) will reduce the country’s carbon emissions by approximately 40% by 2030, according to a summary of the deal.
The sudden announcement of the deal came less than two weeks after Manchin, a key centrist who holds the votes in the 50-50 Senate, said he would not support any climate regulations until he had a better understanding of inflation data for July .
If passed and signed into law, the act would include funding for the following:
Production of clean energy products, including a $10 billion investment tax credit for manufacturing facilities for things like electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels, and $30 billion in additional manufacturing tax credits to accelerate domestic production of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and the processing of critical minerals. It will also include up to $20 billion in loans to build new clean vehicle manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and $2 billion to retrofit existing clean vehicle manufacturing plants.
Reducing emissions, including $20 billion for the agricultural sector and $3 billion to reduce air pollution in ports. It also includes unspecified funding for a program to reduce methane emissions, which are often produced as a byproduct of oil and gas production and are more than 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere. In addition, the law allocates $9 billion for the federal government to purchase clean American-made technologies, including $3 billion for the U.S. Postal Service to purchase zero-emission vehicles.
Research and developmentincluding a $27 billion Clean Energy Technology Accelerator to support the deployment of technologies that limit emissions and $2 billion for breakthrough energy research in government laboratories.
Protection and maintenance of natural resourcesincluding $5 billion in grants to support healthy forests, forest conservation and urban tree planting and $2.6 billion in grants to protect and restore coastal habitats.
Support for countries, including about $30 billion in grant and loan programs for states and utilities to advance the clean energy transition.
Environmental Justice Initiatives, of more than $60 billion to address the disproportionate effects of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color.
For individuals, a $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of new electric vehicles and a $4,000 credit for the purchase of used ones. Both loans will be available only to low- and middle-income consumers.
“I support a plan that will promote realistic energy and climate policy that lowers prices today and strategically invests for the long game,” Manchin it said in a statement on Wednesday. “This legislation ensures that the market will take the lead, rather than ambitious policy agendas or unrealistic goals, in our nation’s ongoing energy transition.”
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the proposed legislation next week, after which it will go to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said tax credits and investments for energy projects in the deal would create thousands of new jobs and help lower energy costs, and urged the Senate to move the legislation forward as soon as possible.
The president has pledged to limit US greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% from 2005 levels by 2030 and reach zero emissions by mid-century. Without a reconciliation bill, the country is on track to miss that goal, according to a recent analysis by independent research firm Rhodium Group.
“This is the action the American people have been waiting for,” the president said it said in a statement on Wednesday. “It addresses today’s issues — high health care costs and general inflation — as well as investing in our energy security for the future.”
Correction: The reconciliation package has a $4,000 credit for individuals who purchase a used electric vehicle. An earlier version incorrectly specified the vehicle type.